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Thursday: Cheddar Chicken Chowder

This is one of the very first soups that I learned to make when I was first married. It is adapted from Cooking Light magazine, which was one of my very first resources when learning to cook and eat a more healthy diet. It is great for a crowd whether you are off in the snow or at the shore. I serve it as is – nothing else is necessary – IMO.
Serves: 6     Prep: 15     Cooking: 45

Ingredients

2 bacon slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb shredded chicken (or boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red bell or pasilla pepper, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ½ cups fat-free chicken broth, low sodium
10-12 oz red potatoes, ½ “ dice2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2%  milk
1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
½  teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons green onions, chopped

Instructions

Prep Opportunity
You could chop all ingredients except the potatoes and keep covered in the fridge. Or, you just make the whole darn thing ahead. It reheats in 15-20 minutes.
1
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside.
2
Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring once, for 5 minutes. (Add the chicken here if you are using raw).
3
Meanwhile, chop the potatoes.
4
Add broth and potatoes to the pot and bring to boil.
5
Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
6
Add corn and shredded chicken.
7
Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended well. Add to soup.
8
Cook over medium heat, uncovered, 15 minutes until thicker. Stir it around a few times to combine.
9
Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir well to melt the cheese.
10
Serve in warmed bowls topped with crumbled bacon and green onion.